General branching processes: theory and biological applications

Peter Olofsson
Mathematics, Trinity University

(April 2, 2009 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM)

General branching processes: theory and biological applications

Abstract

A general branching process is a stochastic model for population dynamics that allows individuals to reproduce according to point processes during their lifetimes. The main difference between such a stochastic approach and deterministic population dynamics is that the latter directly models changes on the population level, whereas the former starts from individual reproduction and infers results about population behavior. We will describe the basic properties of a general branching process and consider three applications to cell biology: cell populations with quiescence, desynchronization of the cell cycle, and shortening of telomeres. The latter two represent work in progress.